Just slow down you big fat print producing freaks....

My last post got me thinking about the whole photographic print thing which I happen to be a big part of as most of my images are aimed at the gallery side of things.
Not long ago galleries and collectors wouldn't touch a colour print if it wasn't a 'C Type' chemical based print. Mention the word injet and you may as well of said photo copy. They even changed the word to Gilcee to try and fool everyone, this was especially true of the William Eggleston exhibition in London some time ago.
Now it seems, if its big, anything goes. Image quality may be improving but I still have my doubts over the longevity of such processes. I get the impression that few care at the moment, but this may change when I buyer comes back a few years later demanding a refund for they now wishy wasy print. After sales services from photographers are probably as bad as a mobile phone shop..
I had a brochure from one of my labs telling me that I should get giant Glicee prints done because all the well know photographers in New York where getting them done now.
I cant help thinking there will be a price to pay (other than the print itself)..But I have to admit, those HP 3200 printers look the business....

Big World, Large Format.

Well it would seem that these days all you need to do a bit of advertising is a sweaty office and a few leaflets. Don't beat around the bush Mr. Soth, theres no need your printers in the mail...
Watch this and all will become clear...

At least when Joel Meyerowitz done this you seen him actually use the printer.

Very Cheap.... (not the printer)


I see that old Mikey K (Michael Kenna to the rest of you) has a show of his latest work on at HackelBury Fine Art gallery. This guy is unstoppable in that he just keeps producing those gems for us all to see. Lets face it, he's the one every landscape photographer tries to copy in one way or another. Search your feelings, you know its true......

This calls for a day out.


NORTH SHORES Coming soon.

For the last few days I have been locked into deepest thought fueled only by coffee and crumpets as to what to call my up coming spring exhibition regarding my images of the Scottish coast.. The working title was 'By Coastal' because I was always 'by the coast' (of course). But this did not really gel and most people thought it was something to do with my sexuality. Then one night I had a vision and decided to go with something really clever like ' Gab O May' which means cold and wet in olde worlde Scottish tongue and pretty much summed up my Northern adventures. This lasted for about an hour as I decided it was way too vague, even for me and I kept forgetting the 'Gab' bit.
So often we have the answers to many things right in front of us, and this exhibition/project title was no exception. From a very early age I remember being told we where going to the North Shores, mostly in the summer time, and yes you guessed it, it was the sea side, the Scottish Coast where my mother grew up and my Grandfather spent many years sinking in quick sand and falling into rock pools while looking for something to paint.
So there you have it NORTH SHORES coming to a gallery near you (if you live in London). Don't you just love it.....
Pictures to follow soon.


Club It...

I occasionally buy PhotoIcon magazine and enjoy the read (well its better than Outdoor Photography or Digital Photographer or Outside Digital Photographer..).In this particular issue I discovered that there is a PhotoIcon club online which you can see a bit of here. Lots of naff photography, but was pleasantly surprised with the work of Vidar Nordli Mathisen who apart from sounding like a bond villain has some beautiful imagery of Norway.
Vidar does not seem to have a web page but does have a lot of work on that Flicker thing which I refuse to direct anyone to. Start doing that and I may as well put B Mode on face book..
One must have standards.
After writing a little regarding the Magnum Blog on the 16/11 I thought I would direct you here for some not so positive comments.

That all I have to say about that.



Yesterday my Grannie turned 101, a magnificent achievement indeed and no one to this day knows her secret. Nothing much to do with photography really, but 'her man,' my Grandfather, was a huge influence early on in my work whom I have mentioned a few times on here before, sadly he passed away some twenty odd years ago. I have often thought what he would think of my photography work today which would probably of been similar to what my father told a few weeks ago;
"Son, how come you swan around with a big camera taking nice pictures and manage to make a living, its simply marvelous.."

Of course I haven't told him yet..


Simon Norfolk.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work of Simon Norfolk and if I am honest I wish I had taken many of the images he produces. The only problems I do have are with many of the statements Norfolk makes (as I have mentioned on here before) which never really make sense to me and seem to contradict his fine images.

The letter below was in today's BJP (although I would hardly call it a letter). It has to be one of the finest critiques I have ever read on a given photographer.

Norfolk's way

Simon Norfolk wants to change our consciousness to enable us to do something 'about capitalist imperialism and the military industrial complex' (BJP, 29 October). Aside from making some attractive photographs, he gives us no clue about what doing something might entail. Are we to all make a pilgrimage to his current show and then write angrily to our MPs? The kind of consciousness shift that I think he has in mind, laudable though it may be, is a bigger job than art photography is capable of addressing. And if post-modernism has taught us anything it's that shrill or 'shouty' (to use his own word) agitprop becomes immediately impotent when purveyed in the commercial arena because it questions the motivations and sincerity of the artist.

To ascribe the ills of the world solely to capitalist imperialism etc is surely simplistic, and then to expect that selling beautiful pictures of the fifth circle of Hell to rich people will somehow assuage this is totally naive.

Ironically, often what comes over to me in Norfolk's pictures is a fascination with weaponry rather than his announced revulsion of it. This revulsion also seems to extend to civilian infrastructure; surely a boring clean room with an empty computer cabinet is not made any more interesting or shocking by reading that it belongs to the French nuclear industry; what would worry me more is the absence of such computers. And what are we expected to make of a very pretty picture of the interior of a 1960s Apollo moon rocket; what sinister secret has NASA withheld from us all these years? Clearly there is a level of discourse that Norfolk wants to, but is often failing to, communicate in the work itself.

By way of contrast, Paul Seawright's dark vision of Afghanistan in Hidden, with its profound psychological insight and complete renunciation of beauty, is a work with clarity of purpose harnessed to a powerfully defined aesthetic signature which goes right back to Fenton.

I think that Norfolk's chosen campaigning aesthetic, the now somewhat cliched one of 'beauty tarnished', is subverting his intent. He correctly recognises that beauty can be a honey trap, but frankly I think he's already stuck in it, thereby undercutting rather than amplifying his urgent alarms to us. He seems to me to be saying that 'the horrors of the world are only worthy of my attention if I can transform them into beautiful prints', an objective, it seems to me, which is also at odds with a proper understanding of the title of his latest project.

Variously translated as 'Even in Arcadia I Death am present' or 'the person buried in this tomb has lived in Arcadia', Et in Arcadia ego, Norfolk's magnum opus in the making, seems to me therefore a bizarrely inappropriate title for a body of work that documents the mindless waste of our dystopian age. Poussin's complex and beautiful painting of that same deliciously ambiguous title is an untarnished classical vision of our mortality and is surely a call to embrace art and the world's beauty in the face of death, symbolised by the maiden standing on the right of the picture; beauty and art together unafraid to offer redemption.

- Sophia Kovacs, Sutton

Quote of the day, month, year, whatever...

"I am not a celebrity. I'm a normal person that's just famous.."

Kayne West (rapper) after an 'altercation' with a photographer.



Theres a great piece over on the Magnum blog by Alec Soth (Wear Good Shoes) where twenty five photographers give their advice for young photographers (or anyone else for that matter..) thinking of taking up photography as a career. What is interesting is that most of them say the same thing which is 'stick at it' which happens to be what I would of said first hand, but after a little thought it would probably be along the lines of; "If I had any advice to give I would follow it myself.."

The most honest piece of advice I ever heard was when I was fifteen years of age and is something I have never forgotten...

Cocky youth.
"Mr Photographer. How did you manage to get all these clients, light your subjects, print your negs and make a living from photography.?"

Established, respected photographer.
"Listen here young Doyle. Why should I tell you what has taken me ten years to achieve in just ten minutes, first learn some respect.!"

Enough said..


Jamie Drouin

I was intrigued by the work of Jamie Drouin firstly because of my love for Iceland, but second because his Yards And Lots series. Without the titles you would be forgiven for thinking these where taken in the American Mid West. Its a side of Iceland I have never seen before and makes a crisp refreshing change from lava fields, glaciers, geezers, and dare I say Northern Lights (something I always manage to miss)..
His other work is also well worth a look..
Nice one.



In the days when I could run a four minute mile, wrestle a grizzly bear in just my shorts, and pull a bus with my teeth (of course only one is true) I never questioned my motives behind my photography or the amount of gear I needed. I would load all my gear without hesitation, usually a large format, lots of dark slides, 5 or 6 lenses, a heavy tripod and anything else I deemed necessary for my outing. This was not because I was super human, although I was probably stronger with more energy, It was because I knew far less about what I actually needed. These days I tend to carry the very bare essentials mainly due to the fact I am more confident about my work and know pretty much all of what I need. One camera, one lens, a few slides, a light tripod and a focusing lube, that's about it. However this self assurance did slap me in the face when after a severe downpour and camera soaking, my favorite lens ceased up and failed to fire the next day due to getting water in the shutter mechanism. But before you say ' That will teach you smart arse!' the lens was still usable, I just took the olde worlde approach and put my hand in front of the lens. (Now you can call me a smart arse..)
My point here is that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and not think so much along the lines of what if I need a longer lens, or what if I need fifty more dark slides. Having said that I have just realised that you digital types have it all to hand. A zoom lens, no film to carry, the ability to shoot in low light (hand held), heck you even have an instant image to see if using all those automatic modes has made you take an out of focus shot.
Well that was a waste of time.. But I have raised another point here in that Digital does seem to take a lot of the thought out of photography, at least where landscape photography is concerned anyway...

Heres some words from the master to back up my thoughts...


Doyle news...

I thought I would share a little news with you all, not that I think you need to know, but it stops my mother calling and puts people at ease....

Well I am back from mission coastline and have almost reached saturation point, so no trips to the sea side for a while...

My planned trip to Paris Photo is out the La fenetre (window) which stinks of garlic as I was looking forward to speaking broken French, fine food and vast amounts of photography. I am not even linking to the Paris Photo site because if I cant see it, neither can you....

Apparently America has a new president so lets hope things get 'gooder' and they grant me a green card at some point....

Editing, printing and scraping a living....May be time to hot up the deep fat fryers and start that chip shop business I have been thinking about.
Bring on the grease...


Bruce Percy.

During my research for my Scottish trip I came across the work of Bruce Percy and have to say its quite brilliant. I particularly like the Torness Power Station images and the Iceland series which are some of the best I have seen.
Very thought provoking with techniques that I know are time consuming and difficult in harsh conditions.
The podcast is a very nice touch and a great way to enjoy the work (better than reading of a computer screen with watery eyes..)

I take off my hat (and bear the cold)

I am a photographer, and I am very serious..

It has come to my attention whilst trolling through a lot of photography blogs (seeing though every photographer has one these days including myself) that most of them are way too serious for my liking, not that I think anyone in the world is bothered. I read one (actually it was 3 or 4) the other day that was trying to persuade people who to vote for in the U.S elections, very serious indeed, but its just one persons opinion and really quite vain to think they can control peoples thoughts....People take photography far too serious these days saying things like 'Well this is a very important photograph/collection and without it man would simply not exist'. Utter balls....
The point I am trying to make is that surely a blog, if you are going to take the time to do one, should be a bit of light relief, a few minutes of escapism if you like, its not the flaming news......Lighten up you stiff lot...

Written in a foul mood....Or should I say in the moment..